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Saturday September 23rd 2023

Sea Of Love | 1989

Sea Of Love filming location: O'Neal's Baloon, West 64th Street, New York
Sea Of Love location: the cops check out suspect singles: O’Neal’s Balloon (since closed), West 64th Street, New York

Engrossing did-she-didn’t-she thriller with Det Frank Keller (Al Pacino) on the case of Helen Cruger (Ellen Barkin), who’s suspected of bumping off lonely hearts around New York.

Although it’s set in New York, much of the movie was made north of the border at the Kleinburg Studios in Toronto.

There are quite a few real New York locations though. The opening police scam, where Keller manages to execute a whole roomful of warrants, used the old Savoy Manor Ballroom on East 149th Street, at Walton Avenue, in Hamilton Heights. It’s now part of the Hostos Community College.

The first murder takes place at 365 West End Avenue, near 78th Street on Manhattan’s West Side. Keller lives just to the north on 85th Street, and Cruger even further north at 45 West 89th Street, between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West.

The second murder is on Yellowstone Boulevard, running north-south between the Long Island Expressway and Queens Boulevard, Queens.

The restaurant, where Keller and Det Sherman (John Goodman) set up an elaborate scam to check out the suspect singles, was O’Neal’s Balloon, now the Atlantic Grill seafood restaurant at 49 West 64th Street at Columbus Avenue near the Lincoln Center.

Cruger sells swanky slingbacks at the old Maud Frizon store on the East Side.

There was more filming on Broadway; Amsterdam Avenue; East 57th Street; Eighth Avenue and the high-rise Taft Houses, public housing developments on Madison Avenue between 112th and 115th Streets in East Harlem.

Toronto locations passing themselves off as ‘New York’ include the old Jerry’s Diner (now Chatime Asian restaurant), 132 Dundas Street (which, in its former incarnation, was also seen in the New York-set Cocktail and the Bette Midler weepie Stella); Metro Hall, John Street; Sutton Place Hotel, 955 Bay Street (featured in The January Man and Suspect); the Horseshoe Tavern, 368 Queen Street West and St Nicholas Ukranian Catholic Church, 4 Bellwoods Avenue.

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